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Preparations for winter cause Timoshenko’s transfer to another cell

November 25, 2011, 21:21 UTC+3

The transfers are temporary, for one week only. The new cell of Timoshenko is normal

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KIEV, November 25 (Itar-Tass) —— Ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko has been transferred to another cell because of the detention ward’s preparations for the winter season, First Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian State Penitentiary Service Sergei Sidorenko said on Friday.

“We tell all the media outlets that we are preparing for the winter season and these are regular works. We are transferring to other cells some of the inmates in the blocks for juvenile delinquents and women. The transfers have no other significance. We are checking heating systems and water mains and insulating windows in accordance with the current weather conditions,” he said.

The transfers are temporary, for one week only. The new cell of Timoshenko is normal, he said.

“The transfer was coordinated, and Timoshenko knew about it. She was talked to yesterday and all the explanations were given. I think that her lawyer knows that too,” Sidorenko said.

Timoshenko’s lawyer, parliament deputy Sergei Vlasenko said earlier in the day, “Timoshenko was urgently transferred to another cell today.” He added that reasons for that decision were unknown to him.

The lawyer said that representatives of the European Committee against Torture were visiting Ukraine. “Starting from next week, they will be visiting correctional institutions. Probably, the two events are interrelated,” he said.

The court sentenced Timoshenko on October 11 to seven years in prison for exceeding her authority in the signing of the gas contracts with Russia in 2009. She was also compelled to pay 1.51 billion hryvni (almost $200 million) to Neftegaz Ukrainy.

A new case against Timoshenko was initiated on October 12. Detectives said that Timoshenko, while being the president of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine private corporation, under conspiracy with other former Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko wrote off the corporation’s debt to the Russian Defense Ministry worth $405,500,000 to the state budget of Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry sent a letter to Ukraine demanding the payment of the debt. Timoshenko chaired the corporation in 1995-1997. She said in June 2011 that there were no debts to the Russian Defense Ministry.

On November 11 the Ukrainian State Tax Service charged ex-Prime Minister, ex-CEO of the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine Corporation Timoshenko Friday of concealing $165 million revenues, embezzling public funds and dodging over 47 million hryvni (about $6 million) in taxes.

The Timoshenko case caused harsh comments from Europe.

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, speaking on behalf of the Commission, said: “The verdict comes after a trial which did not respect the international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal process which I repeatedly called for in my previous statements. This unfortunately confirms that justice is being applied selectively in politically motivated prosecutions of the leaders of the opposition and members of the former government.”.

The European Parliament deplored the conviction of Timoshenko as a violation of human rights and an abuse of the judiciary designed to silence Ukraine’s leading opposition politician.

The resolution urged the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that legal proceedings in any appeals against Timoshenko’s conviction or in trials of other members of the former government are fair, transparent and impartial. The deputies insisted that Timoshenko should be allowed to participate fully in the political process both now and in the forthcoming elections in Ukraine.

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